GHS art show provides glimpse of talent, future careers

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Sat., Jun. 11, 2011
Sophomore Katherine Cassidy with one of her watercolor works in the annual Glastonbury High School Art Show on June 8. Photos by Steve Smith.
Sophomore Katherine Cassidy with one of her watercolor works in the annual Glastonbury High School Art Show on June 8. Photos by Steve Smith.

This year's Glastonbury High School art department art show had a noticeably more technical look to it this year.

“There's more and more interest in technical art media,” said teacher Dan Roach. “The animation and videography programs are continuing to really expand, which shouldn't be a surprise to us, because that's the students' media that they live with daily. So, they're really looking to do a lot of that.”

Many of the other works were also highly-detailed at this year's annual show on June 8, including a mural by junior Connor O'Rourke, which was actually comprised of several characters (cartoon animals with various injuries) on a painted backdrop.

“I just started with the bunny's face,” O'Rourke said. “I was practicing drawing detailed eyes, and then I drew a face for it. Then I wanted to complete the body.”

O'Rourke said his art teacher encouraged him to continue to add to it, and he created cat, monkey, lizard, bird and mouse characters and then a painted backdrop.

“They all have the same things going on,” O'Rourke said. “They have uniform injuries. It all just evolved from the one eye.”

Sophomore Katherine Cassidy had two works in the show. One was a sketched portrait, and another was a watercolor of a tree at sunset.

“I did the background first and let it dry,” she said. “I tested it out to get those colors in the back, and then I wanted the silhouette so I did the tree like that.”

Cassidy said she is unsure of the role art will play in the future, but is getting a good sampling of it for herself at GHS.

“I most like painting,” Cassidy said, adding that she has taken painting, as well as clay courses, over the past two years.

“I really like having my work in the show,” she said. “It's a way to express your work to other people who might not know that you draw. It's cool that our school does that. Especially for the AP Art kids – their stuff is amazing.”

Sophomore Kelsey Finn said one of her assignments in Advanced Drawing was to draw their hand, and then put it in a surrealistic setting.

“I positioned my hand,” she said, “and then thought that a roller coaster would go [along the contours] here. It was really fun.”

Finn, who happened to have several pieces in the show, said she looked forward to the exhibition.

“I love it,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite days of the year. I get to see what everybody else gets to do, which is awesome because you don't normally get to see what the other classes are doing. You also get to see other people's reactions to your own work.”

Senior Robert Kelly had a performance piece that entailed his dressing in a rather unique costume – each part of which had its own significance.

“It represents the concept of loneliness, and how it affects each person,” Kelly said, adding that his shoes and antlers are meant to represent the Greek god of nature, Pan.

“Pan was looked upon as kind of perverse and weird. But he was the god of nature and just kind of loved everything, and I think we're all sort of misunderstood like that,” he said.

Kelly, who said he wants to continue making art even though he's not majoring in it at college next year, remained silent for most of the show, and let the crowd dictate his actions.

“All day I've been silent,” he said. “I've just tried to interact with the audience – connecting with them on a level that's non-verbal, because I think loneliness doesn't speak.”

Roach said the number of students pursuing art after high school is also increasing.

“I'm delighted that we still have a large population of students who are interested in thinking of art as serious program of study at the next level in college,” he said, “and they are going into a greater variety of courses in college. Students are interested in art and marketing, a lot of video, a lot of animation, and computer gaming. They're really finding ways in which they can take their artistic skill and do other 'more-predictable' things with it.”


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